The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I know I’m not the only one who is coming out of the thick of the pandemic with a new affinity for stretchy pants. Afterall, the vast majority of us have been as stationary as ever in a world of Zoom meetings and lectures taught from a YouTube video and our bodies have every right to react accordingly. With in-person classes beginning soon, I can’t help but wonder how I’m going to navigate a seemingly new world in a seemingly new body.
When I first realized that my jeans were feeling a little snug in all the wrong places, I was met with guilt and shame. I had to remind myself that I’ve never exactly lived through a pandemic before, and came to the conclusion that my body was simply retaliating. “This is what I get for sitting on my ass all day.” I couldn’t be more wrong.
Almost every other college student I’ve spoken to about the trials and tribulations of attending online school while an airborne virus runs rampant have shared the same sentiment: this was no walk in the park and we’re freaking out. How else could we expect to be? More importantly, how could we expect our bodies to not freak out as well and do everything it possibly can to change in order to protect us. My body, your body maybe, and every way that it’s changed in the last year and a half, is not a punishment. It’s biology working!
While we step into real life for the first time in a long time, I’ve held onto the sentiment that “my body isn’t good at looking good” but here’s the thing, it was never meant to, and it’s silly to think that something as intricate and complicated as the human body would serve the purpose of aesthetics.
So here’s a list of things that my body is really good at, and I urge you to make one of these lists as well:
- Getting me places. I’ve been in a place where my mobility was restricted before, and I’m so thankful I can go wherever I please.
- Baking cookies. Shoutout to my body for helping me mix copious amounts of cookie dough.
- Swimming. Endless summers of swimming in the pool with my family are absolutely priceless.
- Reading. My eyes, hands, and brain all work together to play a movie in my head, and that’s pretty freaking cool.
- Hugging my loved ones. There’s nothing like it.
Keeping all of this in mind is still very much a work in progress for me. It might be for you, too. But I think if we take things day by day, we’ll get to a place where we feel nothing but gratitude for the bodies that we inhabit.